International Student Affairs
When you join the Emerson College community, you may live in one of Emerson's residence halls or in an off-campus setting.
This is your guide to:
- life on campus
- types of off-campus housing available in the Boston area
- what to consider when looking for a house, apartment, or room
- finding off-campus housing
An undergrad moves into her double in the Little Buiding, one of four Emerson dorms.
Houses, Apartments, and Rooms
When renting a house or apartment, it's important to consider plenty of factors, such as the number of people you intend to live with (some communities have ordinances that restrict the number of unrelated people who may live in a single dwelling), and how the cost of utilities will be split among members of the house or apartment.
When renting with a group, you should be certain that you will feel comfortable and safe living with these individuals in a community setting. Give serious thought to whether you want to commit to this type of living arrangement. The individual with whom you enjoy studying may not be the same type of person with whom you would like to live.
In a boarding house, you rent a single room from a family or individual in their home. Strongly consider if the situation is safe for you. In most cases, the owner will live in the dwelling with you, your room will be furnished, and you will have to share bathroom facilities. You may find that the owner has rented rooms to other students, as well. You are expected to follow the owner's rules, such as times when you may or may not cook. Before moving into a boarding house, you should ask the owner about house rules and payment of utilities, whether you can use his/her cooking facilities or have a landline phone in your room, and where you can park, if you have a car.
Prioritize what you want in an off-campus living arrangement:
- safety and security
- location (proximity to public transportation)
- amount of deposit and/or realtor fee, and
- length of lease
Types of Apartments
- Studio: This type of apartment does not have a separate bedroom. It is a large room that may have an open kitchen area and a separate bathroom.
- One-bedroom apartment: This apartment has a separate bedroom, kitchen/living area, and bathroom.
- Two+ bedroom apartment or house: This type of apartment has more than one bedroom, kitchen/living area(s), and one or more bathrooms.
- Split: You may see listings for one-bed splits, two-bed splits, etc. In Boston, a one-bed split often means there are two rooms but no living area. One of the rooms could be used as a living space.
When you move into an apartment, you may need to arrange for utilities under your name. Depending on what is included in your rent, you may have to pay separately for electricity, gas (heat and hot water), and cable/telephone/Internet. Ask your landlord or management company what utility companies you should contact for setup.
The Office of Off-Campus Student Services provides many resources students can use to find apartments:
You can check apartment listings, where realtors, landlords, and other students post information about open houses, apartments, and rooms. Click "view all" to see all listings, or click "search listings" to use the following as search criteria:
- Date available: Fill in this field with the date on which you would like to move in. The search engine will select listings available in that month.
- Rent: Fill in this field with the ideal amount you would like to pay for rent. Try entering a few different amounts. The search engine provides apartment listings fitting the exact amount you enter.
- Area: You can choose to search listings within a particular neighborhood.
- Number of bedrooms: You can choose to search listings that include a certain number of bedrooms. This is handy if you just want to rent one room in an apartment, or if you are part of a group that wants to rent an apartment with a certain number of rooms.
- Realtor fee: If a realtor has listed the apartment and you sign the lease, you may be subject to a realtor fee. You can choose to search listings that have a fee or do not have a fee.
- Pets: You can choose to search listings that allow pets or do not allow pets.
- Amenities: Check off the features you would like to find in an apartment. For instance, you may want to find an apartment with rent that includes the cost of heat and hot water.
You can use the Tackboard to find other students who are looking for roommates or housemates, and for opportunities to sublet an apartment.
A realtor can assist you in finding an apartment. Choose a realtor or realtors who specialize in listings for the neighborhood in which you would like to live, and call them to make an appointment.
related support services
Contact international student affairs
120 Boylston Street, 10th Floor
8:45 am–5:00 pm